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Start a branch office in Saudi Arabia

Like anywhere else in the world, there is a long checklist of tasks to undertake when starting a business in Saudi Arabia, especially for overseas entrepreneurs.

You’ll need to decide on the location of your business and your company name, as well as sorting visas, licensing, and a host of personal admin. Another critical decision at this stage concerns the legal entity of your business.

Foreign entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia have several options in this regard. In this article, I’ll cover one of the most common, the branch office. We’ll answer the following and more:

  • What is a branch office?
  • What are the steps to start a branch office in Saudi Arabia?
  • What documents are required to start a business in Saudi Arabia?
  • How much does it cost to open a branch office in Saudi Arabia?


What is a branch office?

A branch office is essentially an extension of an existing parent company. It allows foreign business owners to gain a presence in Saudi Arabia quickly and cost-effectively.

Branch offices mirror the functions and activities and the parent company. While branch offices cannot engage in trading activities, there can promote and generate business for the parent company.

The main benefits of starting a branch company are 100% foreign ownership and the ability to operate in Saudi Arabia without a local partner.

Steps to start a branch office in Saudi Arabia

Starting a new business in any jurisdiction can be a daunting process. This is only exacerbated when establishing a company outside your country of origin. That said, the process can be simplified by working with a local expert who can advise on and manage your branch office incorporation on your behalf.

Below is the simple four-step process to launching your branch office in Saudi Arabia.

Step 1: Appoint a service agent
The first step when opening a branch in Saudi Arabia is to appoint a service agent such as Creative Zone. We can liaise with the Ministry of Commerce and Investment on your behalf, help you choose and register your trade name, and guide you through the following company formation process.

Step 2: Choose your industry and business activities
Next, you will need to outline the industry you wish to work in and the activities that you intend to undertake. This will determine the type of license that you require.

Step 3: Apply for an investment license
Foreigners wishing to start a business in Saudi Arabia require an investment license. This is issued by the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

You will also need to apply for a commercial registration certificate from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment at this stage.

Documents required to start a business in Saudi Arabia

To confirm the establishment of your Saudi business, you need to apply to obtain your Memorandum of Association and your Issuance of Commercial Registration. As part of this process, you will need to appoint a General Director and provide the following documentation:

• Proof of ID and address for directors and shareholders
• Passport copies for shareholders and directors
• Copy of trade name confirmation
• Memorandum of Association (MOA)
• Articles of Association (AOA)
• Bank reference letter

Finally, you will also need a business visa to live, work, and reside in Saudi Arabia. Again, Creative Zone can manage this process for you.

How much does it cost to open a branch office in Saudi Arabia

Many factors are at play when starting a branch office in Saudi Arabia. Everything from the size and nature of your business to its location can significantly impact the cost of getting started.

For a full and personalised breakdown of the costs involved in launching a branch office in Saudi Arabia, get in touch to arrange a free consultation with Creative Zone.

Working with Creative Zone

All businesses require a license to trade in Saudi Arabia. And while the steps required of overseas investors are not too complicated, a certain amount of prior knowledge is required. Specifically, it’s vital to ensure that your applications for your business license and visa are all completely free from mistakes.

This can be somewhat stressful, so as we have advised throughout this article, the fast-track to getting up and running is through working with a company formation specialist.

Here at Creative Zone, we offer you the best solutions across the entire process of business setup in Saudi Arabia. You get fast, reliable, and unbiased advice on your unique business setup requirements. We can help you choose the right kind of license for your business activity and take you through the entire process from start to finish.

You can let us deal with the hassle of registering a company while you focus on your business. And working with us means you get the best budget-friendly and cost-effective solution to help make your business dream a reality.

Over 10 years, Creative Zone has helped more than 36,000 entrepreneurs set up their businesses. Whether it be a mainland business setup, offshore company setup, free zone company setup, or issuing trade licenses and any related activity for registering a company, Creative Zone is your one-stop shop.

Our customer-first focus and our staff who speak 22 languages means you get a tailored package to suit your specific needs. We have worked with clients worldwide, setting them up in over 200 different business activities.

Let Creative Zone make your journey into business ownership quick and hassle-free.

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